Webconsuls Blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is your business listed on YELP?

On April 24, 2009, Darin McClure sent me a link to an article about YELP. The title of the article was "Yelp Allows Business Owners to Talk Back On Site". I read the article that day and I really thought it should be a subject for a blog post, but until today I have not had time to talk about it here. The more research I did about YELP, the more I realized I didn't know or understand a lot about this particular social networking site. Is your business listed on YELP?

I would like your input. Maybe you can answer some of my questions:
  1. Do you have a personal YELP account?
  2. Do you often write business reviews on YELP?
  3. Do you rely on the YELP reviews?
  4. Can you explain how the "search" program works in the back end?
Regarding #4: If I go to YELP and search for Mexican Restaurant in the specific zip code of 85705, then how can there be 160 results with the first result listed located in the zip code 85719? There is no rhyme or reason to the listings, they are not in alphabetical order, review frequency order, etc. Or am I missing something?
Now if I do the same search on Google Maps there are many more results, but they are listed in zip code relevancy order. In other words, Google lists first those restaurants actually located in 85705. Makes sense to me.
I hope that someone out there in YELP land can explain this phenomena to me.


  1. I'll be happy to explain... I've been wanting to respond to this post for a few days now.

    I use Yelp occasionally to find local restaurants phone numbers and reviews. I understand what you're saying about the sorting but by default, the results are sorted by Best Match (how they figure out what the best match).

    Then you have the option to sort it. First pick if you want it best match, highest rated, or most viewed. Then, you can have multiple secondary sort option (Judy, this is what your question was about) by neighborhood, distance, features, price, and/or category.

    I hope that helps

  2. Malik, Thanks for this, but it still does not explain the search results. If I say I want a Mexican Restaurant in the 85705 zip code, then why do they return 187 results, most of which are in different zip codes? Then they don't even allow you to sort the 187 by zip code relevance! Try this experiment. You will see what I mean.


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